Mental Health Disorders, Psychological Distress, and Suicidality in a Diverse Sample of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youths

IMPACT Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60608, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 10/2010; 100(12):2426-32. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.178319
Source: PubMed


We examined associations of race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation with mental disorders among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youths.
We assessed mental disorders by administering a structured diagnostic interview to a community sample of 246 LGBT youths aged 16 to 20 years. Participants also completed the Brief Symptom Inventory 18 (BSI 18).
One third of participants met criteria for any mental disorder, 17% for conduct disorder, 15% for major depression, and 9% for posttraumatic stress disorder. Anorexia and bulimia were rare. Lifetime suicide attempts were frequent (31%) but less so in the prior 12 months (7%). Few racial/ethnic and gender differences were statistically significant. Bisexually identified youths had lower prevalences of every diagnosis. The BSI 18 had high negative predictive power (90%) and low positive predictive power (25%) for major depression.
LGBT youths had higher prevalences of mental disorder diagnoses than youths in national samples, but were similar to representative samples of urban, racial/ethnic minority youths. Suicide behaviors were similar to those among representative youth samples in the same geographic area. Questionnaires measuring psychological distress may overestimate depression prevalence among this population.

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Available from: Robert Garofalo, Oct 29, 2014
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    • "As a consequence of these stressors, depression can lead to a lack of adopting and/or maintaining health-promoting behaviors, and anxiety can diminish protection against risk, and thus increase odds of contracting HIV (Mustanski et al., 2011). Given the notable rises in HIV incidence and prevalence rates among YMSM of color in the U.S., as well as the high HIV rates maintained among White YMSM (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2010, 2012, 2013; Mustanski et al., 2010), it is imperative that we continue to deepen our understanding of the interactions among gay-related stressors, mental health, and sexual risk behavior for YMSM of different racial backgrounds. To guide the evolution of tailored prevention research, our study aimed to expand on previous findings by hypothesizing that there would be differences in the relationship between stigma, mental health and HIV risk (condomless anal sex and substance use) by race and ethnicity. "
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    • "As a result of LGBT-related stigma, this group faces increased risk of mental health problems, as explained by the minority stress model (Meyer, 2003). Stigma has been linked to increased incidences of mental disorders, victimization , and discrimination (Mustanski et al., 2010). Higher incidences of psychiatric symptoms, suicidality, and mental illness have been attributed to stigma (Mays & Cochran, 2001). "
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    • ", 2011 ; Haas et al . , 2011 ; Mustanski , Garofalo , & Emerson , 2010 ) , possibly due to the fact that there are very few mental health clinicians who specialize in caring for transgender communities ( Rutherford , McIntyre , Daley , & Ross , 2012 ) . There consequently continues to be a lack of training opportunities and resources specific to the provision of transgender - sensitive mental health services . "
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